South Africa honeymoon

Dec 3rd, 2007, 08:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 8
South Africa honeymoon

Looking for a little advice on a trip to SAfor a honeymoon in May next year.
Plan to fly to Capetown, stay at Camps Bay? Is that a bit of a trek to the city? I'll have a car.
Also, will being going to Stellenbosch(2 nights), Montagu (1 night), then Oudshoorn (2 nights) and then onto Wilderness (1 night), Knysna (1 night) and Plettenberg (2 nights) before going to Port Elizabeth (1 night) and then safari (Rippon Safari 2 nights).
Does anyone know if the distances will be too big for driving between?
Also, anyone heard of this new Rippon safari. Trailfinders said its a new cheaper lodge beside Shamwari?
Any help much appreciated!
davieee is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Hi davieee,

to try to answer your qs in some sort of order:

Campstown is out of town, but not too far. it is convenient for visiting table mountain, Kirstenbosch gardens, and the atlantic ocean resorts at houts Bay [but in May, the weather might be a bit iffy - it's autumn in SA]. it's about a 30 minute run into town in a car.

only you know if you want to be in the thick of the action, or out on the coast.

the distances between the places you name are very drivable. I suggest you get hold of a reall good map called "the Sunbird touring map of the western cape". it covers all the areas you are visiting in great detail apart from the PE end of your trip. you need another map for that area, and DO get one before you go - we only found one that was any use at all on our last day, and that was from the information booth in PE.

as for your route, I would try to cut down on the number of moves - I night stands are not very restful.

for example, you could easily drive from Stellenbosch to Oudshorn in a day [400km odd] which would give you the possiblity of 2 nights in Knysna [so you could do the Featherbed nature reserve trip] or even 4 nights in one place in that area - there's hardly any distance between Knysna and Plett so you could give yourselves a nice base in that area.

we stayed at the Hog Hollow lodge near Plett which would be great for a honeymoon.

from there you can go stright to your safari [no point in staying in PE, IMO].

i don't know anything about Rippon looks very child-oriented - do you really want this on honeymoon? we spent 2 nights at shamwari at the riverlodge - ideal for a honeymoon IMO as would be any of their smaller properties.

We also spent one night at Schotia on their "tooth and claw" package. you can stay in a "roundel" with full bathroom but no electricity - it was very romantic and a lot of fun.

hope this helps,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 09:37 AM
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PS - I should have said that if you go for 2 nights at shamwari, they have a deal giving you 3 FREE nights at the Radisson in CPT or other places in the winelands.

we met quite a few people who had also stayed at the R'son and we'd all loved it.

also there's another thread going at the moment about SA - very strong recommendations for the Cape Grace on the V & A waterfront.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 01:15 AM
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Thanks for that info Annhig, very helpful.

I think you are right about one night stays, so i might roll a couple of nights together.

Also, you are right about Rippon. Looks a bit child-orientated. Will check out the free CPT nights with Shamwari.

Do you happen to know how bad weather wise May would be? Its autumn in May, I believe. I'm Irish, so autum/winter/spring (and usually summer!) are all wet and windy; actual reliable seasons are a difficult concept to grasp!
davieee is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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Hi Daviee,

well I'm i Cornwall so I suspect that our weather experiences are pretty similar - the three Ws - wet, windy and warm.

when we were there this July, the nice days [which outnumbered the bad ones 3:1] were like a Cornish spring day - you could get away with shorts and T shirt when the sun was out, but not otherwise.

before we went, i was watching the weather quite carefully, and so far as I could tell, it was great, even in the western cape, which has a sort of mediterranean climate. while we were there, a front came in and chased us across the continent, and the weather after we'd left got considerably worse.

which is a long way of saying that really, you can't tell. you should expect some wind and rain, but it's likely to be mixed - just like home. and it's definitely warmer in teh estern cape, where the safari lodges are.

another option for safari is to look at the national parks themselves - which have accommodation, but not very luxurious.

The most luxurious place we stayed was "grootbos" near hermanus - again great for a honeymoon as they have individual lodges set in beautiful grounds. they do "flower safaris" - a very interesting concept and good for a two night stay.

how long are you planning to stay in CPT?- we had 4 nights / 3 days and it was barely long enough.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 4th, 2007, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
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YOu have chosen a lovely time of the year to come on honeymoon, April/May is the BEST time to be in South Africa weather wise.
Camps Bay is 5 minutes from the V&A waterfront, you are pretty central there and once you get the hang of driving in Cape Town you will be fine.You have not said where you are staying, but I love Les Cascades and O on Kloof, they are really lovely. I would stick to Cape Town and visit the winelands as a day tour, it is only 45 minutes away, I would rather go to Hermanus for a night or two and explore that area than the stay in the actual winelands.
1 night is more than enough in Oudtshoorn and all the 1 nights can be grouped and you can make a base in Knysna or Plett and drive to the other areas they are all close enough, not sure what your budget is but I love Hog Hollow and Elephant Hide. If you have a bigger budget, Phantom Forest and Kurland are also really nice as is Tsala which is decedantly romantic!!
I do not know Rippon Safari, but I have stayed at Bukela and that was really lovely and great value for money!

As for the distances here you go:
Cape Town - Oudtshoorn - 4-5 hours (Stop and have lunch at Roosje Van Die Kaap)
Oudtshoorn - Wilderness - 1 and a half hours
Wilderness to Knysna - 40 minutes
Knysna to Plett - 40 minutes
Plett to Port Elizabeth - 2and a half hours

Hope that all helps!
Doogle is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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thank you all for the fantastic advice.

have booked some of my trip now.

annhig, you are a star with the 3 night deal shamwari do! Now i save a bit of money to upgrade some other lodgings and get to go to Shamwari!!!

Doogle, i've booked Hog Hollow....looks fab, great recommendations all round!

davieee is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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hi davieeee!
im also an irish soon to be honeymooner looking for advice on a south africa honeymoon for august 08. our problem is our budget is tight enough after the wedding so i was just wondering is the trip you booked very expensive? who did you book with? thanks a mill!
scatterbride is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Hi, Daviee,

you're very welcome.

our reward will be a great trip-report.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Hello Scatter Bride!

Typical Irish woman, straight down to the much!!

Shamwari quoted me about €1300 for 2 nights but gave me 3 nights free in the Radisson in Capetown.
Trailfinders actually got it slightly cheaper again, as they get a better, lower rate, on all of the places they go. i think it was about €1,150. They won't tell you about these deals because to be fair to them they don't know about them - how can they know every deal out there
All in all it will cost just short of 5k - including accomodation, flights, car, taxes - for 17 days
However, if thats too expensive, you could easily do it for €1k - 1500 less if you made it shorter and stayed in slightly cheaper spots, still nice, but cheaper.
I would definitely recommend doing the research as you'll get alot of deals if you go in August, as its their winter. Alot of places when you email them will give you half price, though it won't say that on their website.

Also, knock up a query here on fodors or elsewhere (tripadvisor, The help you get back is brilliant.

Going for the b&b style boutique hotels is cheaper and nicer.

Although, I found trailfinders good in the end, you need to do the work yourself first.

Originally, they put a trip together that involved 2 nights in the winelands on sat and sun (when most of the vinyards are shut!) and 2 nights in Hermanus whalewatching....with whales not due for about 9 weeks!! Then the next place was about 6 1/2 hours drive away! So that would have been a nightmare.
Also, travel agents tend to naturally recommend very expensive places for every night. I mean, one could become board of jucuzzi's and first class service, I think! Better to throw in the odd 3star on one night stopeovers, I think.

In the end I booked 2 nights in winelands, 3 free nights in capetown, night in Montagu, 2 nights in Oudtshoorn, 2 in Wilderness of Knysna (not yet decided), 4 nights in Plet. Bay and 2 in Shamwari.

Supposed to be very reasonbly priced when you get there.....especially compared to Ireland.

davieee is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 48
I would stay at Bayethe at Shamwari and if this is full go for Riverdene, but all the Lodges are great.

Make sure you tell them in advance it is your honeymoon and they will follow you around with a bottle of champagne.

You should find the 3 free nights are at the Table Bay this year, it was the Radisson in 07.
The Table Bay is a 5 star hotel in exactly the right location on the V&A Waterfront.

The official rate is 6,500 Rand approximately 700 Euro, it is very good value as Shamwari in season is 4,900 Rand per night, better still if you can find a reduced rate.

The best tip I can give for the rest of your trip is to stay where the locals stay.

A couple of options are outstanding cottages in a vineyard in Franschhoek for 200 Rand per person per night and luxury apartments on the waterfront in Knysna for 800 Rand for the apartment.
coline is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 10:25 AM
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Sorry wrong web address
coline is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 38
If Grootbos appeals to you, and it is gorgeous, especially for a noneymoon, Luxury Link is auctioning off a three-night package.

Current bid is $755 and the auction closes two days from now.

Worth checking out if you want luxury at an affordable price.


learnix is offline  

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